Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Call Your State Senators NOW -- Stop this bill before it gets worse!

Sierra Club’s lobbyist Dave Cullen tells me that this session of the Florida Legislature has been a nightmare.  There have been many bills dismantling environmental protections in Florida. One of the worst is HB 991-Environmental Permitting which passed the House and is making its way quickly to the Senate floor.

Dave says we can stop HB 991 if Sierra Club members and supporters all take action immediately and call our state senators!

HB 991 is a polluter’s dream come true.  It provides for dredging in
the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, exempts phosphate mining from the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process, and expedites wetlands destruction permitting for an inland port in the Everglades Agricultural Area. 

On top of all that, it shifts the burden of proof to any citizen who challenges a license, permit, or conceptual approval and deprives them of due process at the same time! 

Heard enough?  Well, it’s hard to believe, but this bill could get even worse! 

The bill’s backers are cutting and pasting it into every piece of bad environmental legislation they can find.  Potential targets include an agriculture bill that would allow the wholesale leveling of wetlands for “agricultural purposes” and a bill that allows port dredging without requiring a permit for the spoil site.

Call your Senators (see list below) immediately and urge them to oppose HB 991. Talking points are included at the very end of this message.

Your action can make the difference between a state we can live in and a state that’s sold out from under us. 

Sincerely,

Frank Jackalone
Senior Organizing Manager - FL & PR
Sierra Club




District              State Senator                Phone #
01
 Anthony "Tony" Hill
02
 Greg Evers, Greg  
03
 Charles Dean  
04
 Don Gaetz
05
 Stephen Wise  
06
 Bill Montford  
07
 Evelyn Lynn  
08
 John Thrasher  
09
 Andy Gardiner  
10
 Ronda Storms  
11
 Mike Fasano
12
 Jim Norman  
13
 Dennis Jones  
14
 Steve Oelrich  
15
 Paula Dockery  
16
 Jack Latvala  
17
 JD Alexander  
18
Arthenia Joyner  
19
 Gary Siplin  
20
 Alan Hays
21
 Michael "Mike" Bennett  
22
 David Simmons  
23
 Nancy Detert  
24
 Thad Altman  
25
 Ellyn Bogdanoff  
26
 Mike Haridopolos  
27
 Lizbeth Benacquisto  
28
 Joe Negron  
29
 Christopher Smith  
30
 Maria Sachs  
31
 Eleanor Sobel  
32
 Jeremy Ring  
33
 Oscar Braynon  
34
 Nan Rich  
35
 Gwen Margolis  
36
 Miguel Diaz de la Portilla  
37
 Garrett Richter
38
 Anitere Flores  
39
 Larcenia Bullard
40
 Rene Garcia  



Talking Points

  • Please oppose HB 991 and any attempt to bring it to the Senate floor. The companion legislation, SB 1404, was never heard in committee. 
  • HB 991 would allow dredging in the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve and would allow spoil to be disposed of without a permit. 
  • Phosphate mines would be exempted from the Development of Regional Impact process which has worked successfully for decades. Elimination of Phosphate Mining from DRI review will cripple local governments’ ability to review the potential impacts to land, water and endangered species before approving these large scale mining operations. 
  • It does not serve the interests of Florida’s communities to limit their ability to evaluate permit applications. 
  • The bill’s “zone of discharge” rule that permits groundwater contamination all the way down to the base of the aquifer and out to the property line is completely irresponsible. 
  • Please oppose bringing HB 991 or any amendments based on this bill to the Senate floor.